Email has become a necessity and most people use it today. The benefits are enormous because it allows us to send mail quickly, cheaply and to any number of recipients. At the same time, if not used well, it can take us a lot of time and even make us less effective in our work.
I use email a lot and I want to share some useful tips with the readers of this portal:
1. Install a desktop application
There are two ways to address the mail. The first one is on-line, when you open the site (Gmail, Yahoo Mail, etc.) and there you read the messages, answer and store them. The advantage of this method is great when you do not have a personal computer and always access your email on a foreign computer. But if you have a personal computer, I advise you to download a desktop program or to use the already existing one. If you have Windows on your computer, you must also have the program Outlook Express, for Mac OS is excellent the program Apple Mail, and for Linux another very good program Evolution. Use one of these programs, or download other free programs, such as Mozilla Thunderbird. Programmers from Moldova have created an exceptional program for Windows called TheBat. For many years I have used this program and I found it very good and practical. Desktop programs allow you to work more quickly and always have on your computer all the received, sent messages, drafts, etc.
2. Create folders on activities
By default every email program has four boxes: Inbox, Outbox, Sent, Drafts. It is good to create at least two folders for the Answered messages and Archive and what you think it is important. But, do not to create too many, so that you may not complicate things more than you organize them. I saw some people so much “organized” that “their excessive organization” becomes a burden that enslaves them.
3. Answer according to the priorities
I do not know how you are doing, but I receive daily more than 100 email messages without taking into account spam. To be able to handle such a large number of messages it is important to answer them in the order of the priority and not necessarily in the order as you have received the messages. Important things must be firstly done and this principle should be also respected in other aspects of life. This is what Scripture teaches us in this regard:
Prepare your work outside and make it ready for yourself in the field; afterwards, then, build your house. (Proverbs 24:27)(NASB)
And when we are shown the importance of divine things, we are told:
Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:31-34)(NASB)
4. Read and answer
Some messages require to return to them, but most are so that we can answer them after we read them. If possible, answer the messages once, so that they may not take your precious time another time when you return to them again and leave other important tasks undone. If you can answer the message after you read it, do it then, just as Scripture teaches us to help people when we can and not to delay a good:
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,” when you have it with you. (Proverbs 3:27-28)(NASB)
5. Clear out the Outbox
After you answer a message, move it to another folder, the one you created for this purpose. I have titled it Answered and there I put any message that I have received and answered it. That way I get rid of the agglomeration in my Inbox and I clearly see what else I have to do. But, I do not leave any message from Outbox until I solved everything about that message.
6. Keep important messages
Not all messages are important and if there will be no reason to come back to them, you can delete them by using the “Delete” button. But do not do it when you think that in the future you will need the least information in that message. Save those messages so that you can make reference to them whenever you need it.
7. Do not be obsessed by Email
As I said, email is an excellent tool for communication, but if you are obsessed by it, you can realize that you can not do other things and you no longer manage doing all things. Therefore, do not to be obsessed, set a specific time every day when you deal with the Email messages and do not check email constantly throughout the day so that any message will pause and stop you from other important tasks.
Another way how some people are obsessed by email is when they prefer it rather than verbal communication and normal discussions.
Be careful to not let anything rule over you, nor the email, because the Word of God says that everyone is the slave of the thing he is possessed by. Live free like a man freed by faith in Christ.
Translated by Felicia Rotaru